How to Write an Essay Comparing Two Articles
Comparison essays are usually conceived as such kind of academic papers which merely represent given information about their object. This is wrong: to compare does not mean only to present information, to describe, or to observe the given object. Comparison essays need to have a particular goal, i.e. to try to clarify a certain idea by using a comparison. In this sense, writing an essay comparing two articles is a complicated assignment which requires good preparation and knowledge about the articles in question. Do not think that to describe or compare the articles is enough. Let’s see why.
Writing an essay comparing two articles – 8 important tips
1. What is your task?
You have to examine two articles and find some essential similarities in them. Remember: essential, for if you present similarities in a chaotic way (without basis for comparison) this would not be enough.
The articles in question may be internet articles, newspaper articles, or academic papers. Usually this assignment is focused on topics which are actual and easy for comprehension by a wide audience. Thus, you will probably need to compare two articles on a popular theme.
2. What does it mean to compare?
Comparison is one of the most popular ways for gaining knowledge about unknown (or not well-known) objects. People oftentimes say that the person A is very similar to the person B; or that the school A has atmosphere similar to the atmosphere in school B; and so forth. Comparisons are done by human mind every single time when information is processed.
3. Misunderstanding of the concept “comparison”
Recently, it has been widespread to make comparisons in order to prove a given thesis. For instance, if the country X is ruled by a president who is a conservative then its economy will be very effective, only because in the country Y it was like that. Any differentia specifica is omitted here. The country X will be successful whether its economic system is the same as the country Y or not. Very often the comparison itself does not lead directly to the conclusion but rather manifests a personal point of view.
4. Then what to compare?
You should compare entities and things which are comparable, i.e. belonging to one logical class of objects. If the first article covers an issue of education, and the second one history of space odysseys, what will be the common feature, the common idea which makes them interrelated?
You have to decide what is the ground for comparison. This is an idea, thesis, problem, etc., which is common for both articles. Then you can easily observe the solution that each article offers.
5. Describe the articles
Write a little about each article - its author, context, main topic, etc. This should not exceed one-fifth of the whole essay.
6. Find similar points
Find three similar points common for both articles. What ideas do they share? For example, both argue that:
- education should be unrestricted
- education is a life-long activity
- education could bring success to the educated persons
7. Reveal the main difference
Now it is time to say what is the different between the two. For example, the first article may claim that education is strictly related to environmental problems: the more people are educated, the less are ecological issues. The second article finds it difficult to prove this thesis, so it claims that education and ecology are not interconnected.
8. Say your point
You can express your point of view here and prove that the first article’s thesis is true (or not true). You can also argue in favor of one of these articles as more reliable and containing better arguments than the other.
The tips presented are useful for comprehending how to write an essay comparing two articles. Ensure you have understood your task; otherwise, it would be hard for you to accomplish it. Understanding is the key.
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